Sunday, July 24, 2011


Youth Parliament to transform political landscape

  • Sunday, July 24, 2011
  • Arunthathi Kanagaratnam
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  • The Government has established a National Youth Parliament with the intention of developing the leadership skills of youth and to encourage and engage them in an ethical process to effectively transform Sri Lanka.

    Modeled after the Parliament of Sri Lanka, this is the country’s first step to join several developed nations in this advanced social experiment as it joins peoples and nations of the world in celebrating the International Year of Youth. The inaugural session of the Youth Parliament was held at the National Youth Centre, Maharagama recently commencing a new chapter in the Sri Lanka’s socio-political environment, a spokesman for the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry told the Sunday Observer.

    The Youth Parliament would educate youth regarding the traditions and procedures of the Parliament of Sri Lanka to create a proper environment for nurturing exemplary future Parliamentarians, to educate them about the power and responsibility vested in a Member of Parliament and to draw the attention of the Sri Lankan Parliament to the decicions of the nation’s youth, he said.

    He said the concept has succeeded in bringing fresh hope and expectations of a good future in the hearts of the country’s youth and has created new vistas for the country’s media.

    The Spokesman said the National Youth Parliament consists of a total number of 335 members, of whom 332 members represent a different districts in Sri Lanka and three other members tasked with representing ethnic minorities appointed by the Authorized Officer and the Youth Affairs Ministry Secretary S.S.Hevapathirana. A prominent feature of the Youth Parliament is that it represents the whole socio-political and economic strata of Sri Lanka, inluding a member from the differently abled community.

    All Members of the Parliament except the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Prime Minister and the Members of the Cabinet have been divided to the governing and opposition sides. The Cabinet of the Youth Parliament consists of 13 ‘Ministers’ and 13 ‘Deputy Ministers’.

    The Parliament sessions would be held every 3rd Friday and Saturday of the month. The Youth Parliament would be directly tasked with the work of the Youth Affairs Ministry and its affiliated institutions. The official term for the first Youth Parliament has been set for a limited period of one year due to limited membership of the Sri Lankan population in the youth clubs and societies. The official term of the Youth Parliament will be increased to its standard period of 3 years from the election of the second Parliament, he said.

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